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Australia begins whaling legal action

spud_meister

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Australia begins whaling legal action
Australia has launched legal action at the International Court of Justice to stop Japan's hunting of whales, Japanese officials say, calling the move "extremely regrettable".
Hopefully this will help to curb Japanese whaling, and possibly eradicate it all together, the loophole in the law about whaling for scientific research needs to be closed.
 

Jetboogieman

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Whaling is such a huge industry in Japan, the Japanese government and whalers are just protecting their industries as much as the some Americans defend wanting to drill for oil in Environmentaly sensitive areas.
 

spud_meister

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Whaling is such a huge industry in Japan, the Japanese government and whalers are just protecting their industries as much as the some Americans defend wanting to drill for oil in Environmentaly sensitive areas.
i suppose, but the biggest difference being that japan ain't running their cars on whale blubber, and oil isn't an endangered species.
 

Kandahar

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i suppose, but the biggest difference being that japan ain't running their cars on whale blubber, and oil isn't an endangered species.
I might be wrong about this, but I don't think most of the kinds of whales they hunt are endangered species either...
 

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Good, I hope Australia is successful.
 

spud_meister

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I might be wrong about this, but I don't think most of the kinds of whales they hunt are endangered species either...
oops, you're right, they were endangered, but aren't any more
 

zimmer

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If they are not endangered, they should be free to whale away.

If we are going to stop the Japanese, then how about the Greenlanders too, and any other folk that have whale meat as a traditional part of their diet.

.
 

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If they are not endangered, they should be free to whale away.

If we are going to stop the Japanese, then how about the Greenlanders too, and any other folk that have whale meat as a traditional part of their diet.

.
I agree it is hypocritical to have a ban that does not apply to everybody.
 

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zimmer

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Which is why it should be applied to everyone.
Not.

In India cows are sacred. How about they start imposing their culture on our choices?

No burgers, BBQ steaks, Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches...

.
 
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Orion

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The Cove is a great movie that talks about Japan's whaling practices. Its emphasis is on dolphins but they give you a rounded education.

Japan is the world's biggest fish market and it, along with China, will be the reason why the world's fish stocks collapse in less than 40 years.
 

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i suppose, but the biggest difference being that japan ain't running their cars on whale blubber, and oil isn't an endangered species.
True, and I don't condone Whaling, I dislike it very much. But the fact is, it's about jobs and money. And in this economy, any job lossed is not recovered.
 

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If they are not endangered, they should be free to whale away.

If we are going to stop the Japanese, then how about the Greenlanders too, and any other folk that have whale meat as a traditional part of their diet.

.
Only, it isn't a tradition with deep roots in the Japanese culture.
How has whaling come to be used as a talismanic symbol of Japanese identity and a touchstone of nationalism? Morikawa excels in debunking some of the myths frequently served up to justify the industry. Whaling advocates claim that the practice itself and consumption of whale meat are deeply embedded traditions in Japan, and assert that anti-whaling activists are guilty of cultural imperialism. Morikawa counters that modern commercial whaling bears little resemblance to the small-scale subsistence whaling that, until the dawn of the 20th century, was limited to certain coastal regions.

Japan's whale-eating culture was also very limited in scope and, according to Morikawa, is "an invented tradition, only lasting 20 years from the end of WWII to the early 1960s." During the U.S. occupation, whale meat became part of the national school lunch program, explaining why Japan's aging baby boomers evince a nostalgic nationalism over the issue.

The author draws our attention to the ICR-orchestrated media campaign aimed at convincing Japanese that whaling is part of their national identity. The ICR also tries to spur whale consumption, but to little avail. A major problem for whaling advocates is that Japanese consumers are not buying even heavily subsidized whale meat; one third of the meat harvested through "scientific research" remains unsold. This means that the proceeds from selling the meat do not cover the costs of conducting the whaling.

It is costly, both financially and in terms of public relations, to maintain growing stockpiles of whale meat that nobody wants to eat. Desperate to increase consumption, the ICR and MAFF are behind efforts to reintroduce whale meat to school lunch menus around the nation, putting school children at risk by serving them food laced with harmful toxins. In Morikawa's view, the media in Japan — with the sole exception of the Japan Times — has done little to educate the public about the problems of whaling and dangers of whale consumption, essentially toeing the ICR line. One can only hope that this is not another Minamata in the making.

This is why the ICR and MAFF want to encourage the eating of whales:

Morikawa explains the politics of whaling and how elite bureaucrats sustain an industry that is out of touch with global environmental concerns and what he calls Japan's "silent majority." Whaling, he argues, is partly about budgets and discretionary authority, but even more so about the creation of amakudari (sinecures for retired bureaucrats). The Ministry of Agriculture, Forests and Fisheries (MAFF) actively cultivates a whaling lobby in the Diet to ensure continued appropriations. Since even before the moratorium on whaling in 1986, the industry has depended on government subsidies. So too does the Institute of Cetacean Research (ICR), the organization responsible for conducting scientific research through whaling, which also engages in marketing and public relations and establishes international pro-whaling networks.
Whaling whoppers debunked | The Japan Times Online

Another supporting view:
According to a 2008 survey by the Nippon Research Center, 95 percent of Japanese either consume whale meat very rarely or never at all. Annual per capita consumption now amounts to no more than four slices of sashimi a year.

The result is a growing stockpile that has prompted the reintroduction of whale meat into the school lunch system in several parts of Japan.

While industry supporters talk of a national culture of whale consumption, the meat is eaten regularly only in a handful of coastal villages with strong historical links to the industry.
In fact, large-scale whaling in distant oceans began only after the U.S. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, who led the postwar occupation of Japan, identified whale meat as a cheap source of protein for an impoverished and hungry nation.
Jun Morikawa, a professor at Rakuno Gakuen University in Sapporo, is one of few Japanese to have openly challenged the belief that whale consumption is an important part of the country’s cultural heritage.

Instead, he points to collusion between Fisheries Agency bureaucrats and politicians representing coastal communities with a vested interest in promoting a loss-making industry that also comes with enormous environmental and diplomatic costs.
“They are like a fishing industry tribe,” said Morikawa, author of "Whaling in Japan: Power Politics and Diplomacy." "Japan’s whaling policy is determined, executed and assessed by a small governing elite. The whaling industry is not financially viable. Its job is to spread pro-whaling propaganda and manipulate public opinion so that people think that eating whale meat is part of our national culture."
Japan's whale meat obsession | GlobalPost

It would seem a small group of bureaucrats are protecting their jobs.
 

spud_meister

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If they are not endangered, they should be free to whale away.

If we are going to stop the Japanese, then how about the Greenlanders too, and any other folk that have whale meat as a traditional part of their diet.

.
if they we're whaling in and around Australian waters, they'd be on the recieving end of the legal action too.
 

spud_meister

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True, and I don't condone Whaling, I dislike it very much. But the fact is, it's about jobs and money. And in this economy, any job lossed is not recovered.
it is only a very tiny portion of their economy, and i'm sure the whalers could go to fishing for non-mammalian sea creatures, replacing harpoons with nets or some such, i hear the japanese eat fish a lot more often than whale.
 

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RightinNYC

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Indeed, it's all about a bureaucracy rather than a necessity to provide a product the marketplace demands.

Whaling whoppers debunked | The Japan Times Online
I'm not sure why this should matter. Whether Japan is doing this because of cultural heritage, bureaucratic influence, or just A**** AYOOO WHAAAALE doesn't seem relevant to the question of whether they have the legal right to do this.
 

Gina

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I'm not sure why this should matter. Whether Japan is doing this because of cultural heritage, bureaucratic influence, or just A**** AYOOO WHAAAALE doesn't seem relevant to the question of whether they have the legal right to do this.
Japanese pro-whaling bureaucrats are arguing it's their heritage (which is untrue), not me. There is also almost no market for whale meat, so they are looking to dump it into the school lunch system (a potential health risk for their children). And if you examine those reasons alone, their continuing insistence that they need to cull for "research" purposes is a total lie, so they are acting illegally.
 

RightinNYC

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Japanese pro-whaling bureaucrats are arguing it's their heritage (which is untrue), not me. There is also almost no market for whale meat, so they are looking to dump it into the school lunch system (a potential health risk for their children). And if you examine those reasons alone, their continuing insistence that they need to cull for "research" purposes is a total lie, so they are acting illegally.
I'm not addressing your arguments re: the true reasons behind their desire to whale, but what I'm having a hard time understanding is how you're moving from "they're not being forthright about the historical reasons why they want to whale" to "that means that it's illegal for them to whale."
 
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Crunch

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Not.

In India cows are sacred. How about they start imposing their culture on our choices?

No burgers, BBQ steaks, Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches...

.
Get a rope......
 

Orion

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In India cows are sacred. How about they start imposing their culture on our choices?

No burgers, BBQ steaks, Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches...

.
A huge number of people in India don't abstain from eating beef.

Cows are not endangered.

There is no practical reason to hunt whales in the numbers Japan is showing because there are plenty of other viable sea foods to choose from. It's industry that wants profits which is fueling the craze. Whale meat is considered low grade in Japan, but the seafood market has been infected with lies. Products that are sold as other kinds of fish actually contain whale; and as was already said, the government is trying to put whale meat into all primary school lunch programs, programs which are mandatory for all those in attendance.

There is clearly an industry bias at work. It has nothing to do with cultural heritage.
 
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Orion

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Japanese pro-whaling bureaucrats are arguing it's their heritage (which is untrue), not me. There is also almost no market for whale meat, so they are looking to dump it into the school lunch system (a potential health risk for their children). And if you examine those reasons alone, their continuing insistence that they need to cull for "research" purposes is a total lie, so they are acting illegally.
Don't forget that a huge portion of the whaling industry is fueled by dolphinariums around the world, like Sea World, which are cohorts in a huge trafficking market of wild whale species. Japan can take a lot of blame but not all of it.
 

Orion

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I'm not addressing your arguments re: the true reasons behind their desire to whale, but what I'm having a hard time understanding is how you're moving from "they're not being forthright about the historical reasons why they want to whale" to "that means that it's illegal for them to whale."
Practically all countries in the International Whaling Commission have voted to ban whaling in order to preserve many delicate species. Japan has provided nothing but unsubstantiated excuses for why it refuses to adhere to the guidelines set by the rest of the world. Even other countries in Asia are siding against Japan. One of its most common arguments is that whaling is part of its cultural heritage, but that's not true.

The point isn't about legality, but the credibility of Japan's arguments. They are basically lying through their teeth to everyone in order to save face, instead of just coming out and saying, "No, we are going to whale if we want to."
 

RightinNYC

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Practically all countries in the International Whaling Commission have voted to ban whaling in order to preserve many delicate species. Japan has provided nothing but unsubstantiated excuses for why it refuses to adhere to the guidelines set by the rest of the world. Even other countries in Asia are siding against Japan. One of its most common arguments is that whaling is part of its cultural heritage, but that's not true.

The point isn't about legality, but the credibility of Japan's arguments. They are basically lying through their teeth to everyone in order to save face, instead of just coming out and saying, "No, we are going to whale if we want to."
If you're talking morally, that's fine, but how is it really different from the way in which every country on the planet engages in international relations? I can't remember the last time that a country didn't label its economic desires as "cultural heritage" or "interest in peace and democracy."
 
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